Notes for story, The DabblerShortly after midnight. January 1, 2009. Naperville, Illinois.

My girlfriend at the time long asleep (I think, I can’t remember her being awake…), I rang in the New Year alone, watching the fireworks from Navy Pier in Chicago. Shortly afterward I turned off the TV and started making notes for a potential story that had been in my head, which I tentatively titled, “The Dabbler.”

The first thing I wrote was “Shot of an old man in bed. Only light was some sun coming through the window to the left of the bed, a curtain covering half of it bathed part of the room in a faded yellow glow. has fresh cut daisy on bedstand (from her garden).”

Last night, some five and a half years later, I completed the final corrections and revisions and the story is complete. 87,000 words. In no way do I believe it will change the face of literature or even necessarily get published, but it is done. Complete. I was able to breathe life into characters and develop them enough to tell their story, which spans 1943-47. Due to carpal tunnel issues, I was often unable to work on it over the years or, if I could, it was for very short periods of time, scratching out whatever ideas I had before I forgot them in order to develop them later. It got so bad that I was unable to finish washing my dishes one day due to the intense pain and fell to the floor in tears. Thus, it was quite the struggle to tell the story that was always in my head, even if I couldn’t do much about it.

Last December I quit my job in order to finish the novel, and here we are, it is done. I have little money left but I have achieved something I thought I would never have been able to do. While writing itself is a solitary act, in no way was it completed alone. There are so many people that helped me get to this point that I would be afraid to start naming names because I have no doubt I would forget someone. You know who you are, and for you all I am eternally grateful.

Now to start figuring out who might take a chance on an unknown author with no fancy degree or fiction publishing credits to speak of. If any writers out there have any suggestions or ideas, please let me know!

On to the next story…